The tragic, delinquent, and incongruous life of Scott Thorson can be summed up in a well-known adage: “All good things must come to an end.” It is difficult to separate the reality of his story from make-believe. Most of what is known of Thorson’s life is hearsay, with no source to validate the extraordinary events. However, his story does have the quintessential ingredients of a great Hollywood saga. It revolves around love, jewels, heartbreak, revenge, crime, and a lot of mystery. He is mostly known for his alleged affair with the late showman Liberace, which came to an end with the eventual lawsuit that lasted for 4 years. Thorson did find his place on the silver screen but only as a name of a character in a movie, based on his own handywork. He currently lives the life of a common criminal in the ‘Nevada Department of Corrections’ system.
Childhood & Early Life
Very little is known of Scott Thorson’s life before he turned 17 and met Liberace, the only person he owes his former luxurious life, career, and fame to. He was born on January 23, 1959, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and spent most of his childhood and adolescence in the foster system that made him susceptible to the lures of a glitterati’s life.
He had an abusive father and a mother who was mentally ill. Details of this part of his life are obscure and of little interest to people. One can only draw inferences (from his own words) that he came from a broken family and lived with his foster parents amidst adverse conditions.
The turning point in his life came when he met Liberace, a fanciful pianist and vocalist who lived a royal life, when he was 17 years old, in 1976.
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During his heydays with Liberace, Thorson became part of the musician’s Las Vegas stage performances, as a dancer.
Later, in 1987, a year after Liberace’s death, he published his first book, ‘Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace,’ which got adapted as a major motion picture in 2013, with Matt Damon playing Thorson and Michael Douglas in the role of Liberace.
There were rumors of a book sequel in 2015, and it was reported that he was actively working on it while serving his sentence.
He was interviewed by many TV and radio show hosts, such as Larry King in 2002 and Howard Stern in 2013. It was on ‘Larry King Live’ that he confessed to have removed the chin implant that Liberace had once made him add. He gave an explosive interview to Howard Stern on his ‘Sirius XM’ radio show, revealing the names of other celebrities he had had romantic associations with.
He appeared in the documentaries ‘E! True Hollywood Story,’ ‘Reputations,’ and ‘Michael Jackson's Boys.’ He also appeared in the series ‘Oprah: Where Are They Now?,’ ‘The View,’ ‘Entertainment Tonight,’ and ‘Fame for 15.’
After his glorious days with Liberace were over, he had frequent run-ins with the law. In 1988, after one such arrest, he became the state’s key witness against a notorious drug lord and gangster, Eddie Nash. He stayed under witness protection for several years and exited it due to his ongoing addiction to drugs.
Relationship with Liberace & the Lawsuit
In 1977, soon after their first meeting, noted American pianist, singer, and actor Liberace hired young Mr Thorson as his personal friend and companion. He was 18 at that time.
He inadvertently started an affair with the extravagant musician. It lasted for 5 years, only to end with a jolt in 1982.
Between the years 1977 and 1982, however, Thorson had tasted the high life of cars, diamonds, and drugs. He had moved into Liberace’s palatial Las Vegas mansion. By then, he considered himself to be an integral part of the entertainment industry. When he was 20 years old, Liberace made him go through a series of surgeries to alter his face to look like Liberace’s younger self.
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It is said that Liberace became so obsessed with Thorson that he could not put his mind to work without him being around. Thorson would often fashion himself in a chauffer’s uniform (fitted with rhinestones) and drive the musician to the stage in a dazzling, bejewelled ‘Rolls-Royce.’
This alluring and obsessive relationship came to an end when Liberace had Thorson evicted from his Los Angeles penthouse due to his drug problems, in 1982. This, according to Thorson, was a huge betrayal.
The same year, he filed a lawsuit worth $113 million in a first-ever same-sex palimony case in the United States.
The case was settled outside the court in 1986, after four highly-publicised years of proceedings, for $95, 000. He later revealed that the settlement agreement was reached on the pretext of Liberace’s deteriorating health.
After Liberace died of AIDS in 1987, Thorson continued to get into trouble and was constantly charged with either drug abuse or burglary. In 2008, he was sentenced to 4 years in jail and was subsequently released.
Though 2013 saw a revival of his fame, with the release of the movie based on his book, he was behind bars and was unable to enjoy a public life. He cried foul and threatened to sue the producers of the movie based on his book, saying they had duped him by paying him only a pittance.
Later that year, the owner of a brothel bailed him out after watching the movie and tried pushing him toward a clean life.
After missing out on court hearings and failing multiple drug tests while on probation, in 2014, he was sentenced to 8 to 20 years in jail by the courts in Nevada. He is currently serving the same sentence.
Though most of the trinkets and gifts that Liberace gifted him are gone, Thorson still possesses two huge rings and a diamond watch.
Among his many sensationalist claims was his revelation of an affair with the “King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, which he said lasted almost 6 to 7 years.